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Story posted: Friday, 13th November 1987

Northwood settled side?
Story courtesy of Burton Mail
Gresley fans thought they’d never see the day – but manager Frank Northwood believes he is finally hitting on a settled side.
The glory-chasing Moatmen left Northwood crowing with delight after Saturday’s 3-0 FA Vase destruction of Mile Oak.

“That was probably the best football at the Moat Ground for 12 months,” said the veteran Rovers chief. “I’ll be scratching my head a bit before Saturday and toying with the idea of fielding an unchanged side at Rushall.”

The obvious victim of such a move would be keeper Bob Aston, who missed the win over Mile Oak because he had played in an earlier round of the competition for former club Eastwood Hanley.

The prodigal Karl Austin, back from his abortive bid to break into American indoor six-a-side, took over and Northwood said, “Karl looked as if he’d never been away. We’re getting ever so close to the best permutation of the squad. The lads at the back played especially well.”

Northwood is obviously delighted that his two central defenders, skipper Steve Dolby and Ray Skeemer, have responded to his recent criticisms of their performances which culminated with both being dropped.

“You have to do that sort of thing at times. There’s no way I’m going to allow complacency to creep in. I don’t want any player thinking that a particular shirt is his by right. And they don’t get too many chances either. The boys who play tomorrow have got to remember that players like Clive Arthur are desperate to get into the side.

“Clive’s on the sidelines at the moment but he kicks every ball during a game. He badly wants to play and has a superb attitude – and that’s what I want.”
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